On 3rd September 1943 the men of the 8th British Army landed on the toe of the Italian peninsula, around the city of Reggio Calabria. It was the first time a force this size had been on continental Europe since the dramatic evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940 and were the first tentative steps towards the final defeat of the Axis powers in Europe. The crossing of the Straits of Messina was the beginning of a campaign that would last until the last days of the war in Europe itself. A campaign that is often overlooked by historians. Lacking the scale of the campaign in the East, or the Hollywood attention of the invasion of France.
Now, James Holland, one of the UK’s leading WW2 historians and broadcasters is heading on a road trip up through Italy, following the path of those men who fought and died there.